Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sea Stars Started Dissolving. What Helped Some of Them Survive?

Sea stars are predators and their diet controls the ecosystem. In summer 2013, a plague effected the sea stars in California that caused them to slowly disintegrate. Researchers then compared the genes of sea stars before the epidemic and the survivors. They found that the current population of sea stars is genetically similar to the survivors than past generations; which made sense because the survivors then reproduced. In another testing along the coast of California, biologists found that some sea stars’ genes were still similar to the old generations. Before the epidemic wiped out the previous generation, they had already laid eggs. Biologists hypothesized that those eggs are most likely to hatch and resemble that same generation. 

I think it's fascinating how we are now able to view the genes of any organism and it allows us to control the environment by physically manipulating it. This research helps us keep on eye on the sea star's population, which is important towards maintaining the ecosystem.

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